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Minnesota's Haula forgoes final season to sign with Wild

The Minnesota Wild have signed Erik Haula to an entry level contract. The junior forward from Finland will forego his final season of collegiate eligibility at the University of Minnesota.

Jamie Squire -- Getty Images Sport

Minnesota junior forward Erik Haula has signed an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild, the NHL team that selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. The Pori, Finland native tallied 16 goals and 35 assists in 37 games played this season. He had 42 goals and 82 assists in three seasons with the Gophers.

The undersized Haula will forego his final season of eligibility in Minneapolis. Haula played his junior hockey with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. His early departure continues a troubling trend in college hockey. There have now been over 20 players who have left eligibility on the table to sign an NHL contract this off-season.

Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.